File tax return now to avoid “unnecessary penalties”, says HMRC

With less than one month to go until the Self Assessment deadline, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is reminding taxpayers of their legal responsibilities.

According to the regulator, around 5.4 million taxpayers have yet to file their tax return ahead of the 31 January deadline. It means that some 46 per cent of tax returns remain outstanding.

Urging taxpayers to avoid “unnecessary penalties”, Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “The Self Assessment deadline on 31 January is fast approaching so customers have just under a month left to file their tax returns online to avoid any unnecessary penalties. Any tax due is also payable by 31 January.

“We know that can be a worry, and not only when large sums are involved, so I would urge anyone who is expecting to find it difficult to pay their tax to get in touch with us as soon as possible. We will do everything we can to help and provide practical support.”

Taxpayers who file a late return will receive an automatic £100 fixed penalty fine, even if it was delayed by just one minute. The penalties rise significantly if a tax return is late by more than three months.

Who needs to complete a tax return?

You must send a tax return if, in the 2018/19 tax year, you were:

  • self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000
  • a partner in a business partnership
  • You pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge
  • You received more than £2,500 in other untaxed income, such as money from renting a property, tips and commission, income from savings, investments and dividends or foreign income
  • An employee claiming expenses in excess of £2,500
  • Have an annual income over £100,000

Click here for more information about who must send a tax return.

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